Presidential Primary Speaking Series

About the Presidential Primary Speaking Series

The Primary Series, sponsored by the Carsey School of Public Policy and the Campus Living Association, seeks to build the policy and political problem-solving skills of tomorrow’s leaders, while giving the community the opportunity to engage national figures on a wide range of challenging public policy issues. As part of the primary series, every major 2020 presidential primary candidate has been invited to deliver remarks on a specific policy area of his or her choosing. Individual event sponsors include/have included The Institute for College Access & SuccessResults for America; and The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Service.

The primary series events are free, but space is limited and registration is required. Registration data will NOT be shared with the presidential campaigns.

Recent Events

College Costs & Debt in the 2020 Elections

Thursday, February 6,
3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824


Join us Thursday, February 6, for the College Costs & Debt in the 2020 Elections event, held in the UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom. The Carsey School of Public Policy, UNH’s Campus Living Association, and The Institute for College Access & Success have partnered to bring this event to the Durham campus to explore the challenge of college affordability, how this issue is playing out on the campaign trail, and how it might be addressed by whomever is in the White House in 2021.

2020 Candidates Who Have Already Visited UNH

  • Michael Bennet

  • Joe Biden

  • Cory Booker

  • Pete Buttigieg

  • Julian Castro

  • John Delaney

  • Tulsi Gabbard

  • Kirsten Gillibrand

  • Amy Klobuchar

  • Seth Moulton

  • Beto O'Rourke 

  • Deval Patrick

  • Tim Ryan

  • Bernie Sanders

  • Joe Sestak

  • Tom Steyer

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Bill Weld

  • Marianne Williamson

  • Andrew Yang

Primary Series Speaker Biographies

Feb. 4: Deval Patrick

Headshot of Deval Patrick, speaker at Carsey's event.

Presidential candidate Deval Patrick served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. He was the state’s first black Governor. By the end of his second term, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in energy efficiency, healthcare coverage, and student achievement. Prior to successfully running a campaign for Massachusetts governor, Patrick graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School; served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and led the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on issues like racial profiling, police misconduct, and prisoner abuse.

Dec. 3: Amy Klobuchar

Photo of Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has served as U.S. Senator of Minnesota since 2007. During her tenure, she’s worked on a number of Senate committees, including the committees on Rules and Administration; Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet; and Commerce, Science and Transportation. Prior to her work in Congress, Klobuchar worked as an attorney and was elected county attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Nov. 25: Michael Bennet

Sen. Michael Bennet, speaker at the Carsey School.

Senator Michael Bennet currently serves as the senior U.S. Senator from Colorado. He has served in this capacity since 2009 and has sat on the U.S. Senate committees for Finance and for Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Bennet previously oversaw the Denver Public Schools as superintendent of schools, and he served as counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the Clinton administration.

Nov. 4: John Delaney

john delaney to speak at the Carsey School of Public Policy

Presidential candidate John K. Delaney is a former entrepreneur and U.S. Congressman, having represented Maryland’s 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019. Prior to serving in Congress, Delaney founded and led two publicly traded companies that provided capital to small- and medium-sized businesses. In the House, he established the Artificial Intelligence Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to educating policymakers on technology and issues related to the future of work.

Oct. 11: Tulsi Gabbard

Photo of presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

Rep. Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for President and one of the first elected to Congress. She is a major in the Army National Guard, having served for 16 years and been deployed twice to the Middle East. In Congress, Gabbard has sat on the Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services committees, in addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Oct. 8: Bill Weld

Photo of candidate for U.S. President, Bill Weld.

Presidential candidate Bill Weld is a former two-term Governor of Massachusetts, elected in 1990 and then again in 1994. He was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Massachusetts in 20 years and was ranked the most fiscally conservative governor in the country by The Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute. Prior to being elected governor, Weld served as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts and as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

Oct. 6: Marianne Williamson

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson will speak at the Carsey School of Public Policy.

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, lecturer and non-profit activist. She is the author of 13 books, four of which made #1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list. They include Healing the Soul of America and A Politics of Love: Handbook for a New American Revolution. She has also founded two nonprofits: Project Angel Food and The Peace Alliance.

Sept. 27: Andrew Yang

Candidate Andrew Yang will speak at the Carsey School of Public Policy.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Venture for America. From 2000 to 2009, he worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as either a founder or executive officer. In 2012, he was selected as a “Champion of Change” by the Obama administration and, in 2015, as a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.”

Sept. 9: Joe Sestak

tom steyer, carsey school of public policy

Admiral Joe Sestak represented Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District from 2007 to 2011. He served for over 31 years in the U.S. Navy around the world, including commanding an aircraft carrier battle group of 30 ships and 15,000 sailors, and SEALs and Marines in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked for President Clinton as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council in the White House, headed the Navy’s strategic anti-terrorism unit (Deep Blue) after 9/11 and was the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (second in his class) with a Ph.D. in both Economics and National Security from Harvard University.

Sept. 6: Tom Steyer

tom steyer, carsey school of public policy

Tom Steyer is a self-made billionaire who founded Farallon Capital Management. He went on to found NextGen America, a nonprofit group that combats climate change, promotes social justice and increases participation in our democracy through voter registration and grassroots organizing, in 2013. Mr. Steyer graduated from Yale and earned his MBA at Stanford.